Quick update from Tehachapi

We've been plugging right along, and are sitting in the small town of Tehachapi, where we'll spend a couple of days going to the Memorial Day Parade, then making a run into civilization to pick up a new tent (!) after ours had a catastrophic failure the other night (basically the pole broke and we can't easily fix it.) Luckily a friend (Six-Two) was already planning to rent a car to cache some water for the next section which is the driest of the whole PCT, so we'll split that and kill a couple of birds with one Mid-sized sedan.

Tehachapi Pass is the beginning of the Sierra, we hear, and from here we'll make a push towards the prettiest part of the trip, in the High Sierra.  We're taking our time a bit because, despite this being a low snow year, it was not a low snow May, so there are about 65 inches of snow there right now, which we'd rather not posthole through.  It looked like we'd be able to get into the High Sierra by about June 1, but it may well be a week or two later, which is totes no prob.

Since we last updated, we have weathered another snow storm and some crazy wind, but none of the famed desert heat that is supposed to plague hikers through this section.  We stopped in a weird little spot in the middle of nowhere dubbed the Tiki Bar in Hell by the Sierra motorcycle club that operated it.  It was a little structure built by the club for members to use when they come out to ride dirt bikes, and during PCT season they'll provide food and drinks to hikers.  It's in the middle of a notoriously hot, exposed section, and they told us that last year 50 people gathered under their shade, some of whom had heat exhaustion.  When we were there it was sunny and about 65 degrees.  All in all I think I'll trade the snow we've had to deal with (camping in the snow with wet feet, by the way, sucks) for escaping the heat that most people have to deal with.  We still have the 'real' desert ahead of us - we skirt the western edge of the low Mojave in a couple of days - so we might still get that experience.  (For a bit of desert clarification, we've been in the desert for the whole trip - it's just that most of it we've been in the high desert between 4 - 10,000 feet in altitude, which has meant cooler temperatures.  Now we'll pass through the lower desert which will mean higher temps and less tree cover, making this the section everyone suffers through the most.)

We've kind of bounced from trail angel to trail angel, and most of them are eccentric in some way or another.  Check out our photos for pictures from Hikertown, for instance - a weird little place where the owner has basically built a western-themed shantytown for hikers to sleep in. 

We've had a series of small gear failures, the worst of which was the tent, but overall we've been lucky and none of that has really slowed us down.  Bodies are doing well, and we're even headed out for a trail run later today - there's an 8 mile section in Tehachapi between road crossings where the hitching is easy, so we're going to knock that out while we're here sans heavy packs. 

Computer access is probably going to continue to be sparse in the next few weeks, but we'll still have regular intermittent phone access until after Kennedy Meadows in about 140 miles, at which point that will also get sparse for a few weeks.  We'll do our best to keep folks updated!

I put up a bunch of new photos from Sections C, D and E on Flickr, so check them out (if you view by album, they're organized chronologically vs the photostream! Link is here.